In 2015, UNESCO and UN Women established an annual day – February 11 – to honour the contributions of women and girls to science and make a call to “smash stereotypes, defy gender biases and defeat discrimination that hold women and girls back in Science, Tech, Engineering and Math.”
This International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Women’s College Hospital (WCH) celebrates the incredible past, present and future contributions of #TeamWCH’s women scientists, as well as advocating for more equity and diversity in STEM.
Here’s a snapshot at our 2023 International Day of Women and Girls in Science programming.
Beyond the Binary: Challenging Sex and Gender Variables in Science
February 3, 2023, 9:00 am-11:00 am
In partnership with Baycrest Health Sciences, WCH is hosting “Beyond the Binary: Challenging Sex and Gender Variables in Science,” a virtual event that will examine the present and future of sex and gender in science and medical research.
Researchers, research institutes and scientific funding agencies have stepped up their commitments to including sex and gender as variables in medical research. The question remains as to whether sex is significant in all aspects of health research.
The event will feature a conversation with Angela Saini, science journalist, broadcaster and author, moderated by Dr. Rulan Parekh, Vice President of Academics at WCH, and Dr. Allison Sekuler, Vice President of Research at Baycrest Health Sciences, discussing the purpose of measuring sex and gender in health research, and whether they can imagine science without categorization.
The event will finish with a panel discussion featuring the following panelists:
- Gillian Einstein Professor of Psychology & the Wilfred and Joyce Posluns Chair in Women’s Brain Health and Aging, University of Toronto
- Angela Kaida Scientific Director, Institute of Gender and Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
- Harlan Pruden Indigenous Knowledge Translation Lead & co-founder of the Two-Spirit Dry Lab at Chee Mamuk, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control
- Juliet Daniel Cancer Biologist and the Associate Dean of Research and External Relations in the Faculty of Science, McMaster University
For the second year, WCH is partnering with a group of volunteer editors from Women in Red, Wikipedia’s gender-gap bridging project. On February 10, the Women in Red will update the pages of Wikipedia with entries for women scientists from WCH and other University of Toronto-affiliated academic hospitals, including Baycrest, CAMH, Holland Bloorview, Mount Sinai, North York General Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children, Sunnybrook, Unity Health and University Health Network (UHN). Fewer than 20 percent of biographies on Wikipedia in English are of women, according to Women in Red, and the goal of this project, which hosts edit-a-thons all over the world, is to change that.
We will be updating on the groups progress throughout the day on our @WCHResearch Twitter page.
Virtual Museum Exhibit
The Miss Margaret Robins Archives of WCH has partnered with Digital Museums Canada for “Women in Medical Research: A History of Innovation.” The exhibit displays the stories of women at WCH who made valuable contributions to Canadian medical research during the first half of the 20th century. It explores the challenges these women faced and celebrates their accomplishments in STEM. It also showcases the next generation of women scientists at WCH and encourages visitors to make their own impact in STEM.